he 2025 Kia K5 is the latest iteration of the popular sporty midsize sedan formerly known as the Kia Optima. The K5 debuted in North America at the Chicago Auto Show on February 8, 2024, showcasing its refreshed design, new engine, and upgraded features. The K5 aims to offer a unique and striking alternative in a segment dominated by more conventional rivals such as the Toyota Camry, the Honda Accord, and the Nissan Altima. But how does the K5 compare to these competitors, and what makes it stand out from the crowd? In this article, we will analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the K5 and see how it fares against some of the best-selling midsize sedans in the market.
Design Updates Inside and Out
One of the most noticeable changes in the 2025 Kia K5 is its exterior design, which reflects the brand’s Opposites United design philosophy. The K5 features a sleek and aggressive look, a tiger nose grille, a fastback silhouette, and a dual exhaust system. The K5 also boasts new Star Map LED daytime running lights and taillights, creating a distinctive road signature. The K5 is available in five trim levels: LXS, EX, GT-Line, GT-Line AWD, and GT. The GT is the most performance-oriented variant, with a more muscular front and rear bumper, a gloss black rear spoiler, and 19-inch alloy wheels.
The interior of the K5 is also updated, with a more modern and upscale feel. The K5 offers a spacious, comfortable cabin with plenty of legroom and headroom for five passengers. The K5 also features a 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a Bose premium sound system, and a wireless smartphone charger. The K5 also comes with a Digital Key feature, which allows the driver to unlock, start, and operate the car using a smartphone app. The K5 also offers a range of standard and optional driver assistance features, such as forward collision avoidance, blind spot collision avoidance, lane keeping assist, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance, smart cruise control, and parking distance warning.
New Engine and Drivetrain Options
Another major change in the 2025 Kia K5 is its engine and drivetrain options. The K5 replaces the previous 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a new 2.5-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine, which produces 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque. This engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and is available in the LXS, EX, and GT-Line trims. The K5 also offers an optional all-wheel drive system, which is exclusive to the GT-Line AWD trim. The all-wheel-drive system enhances the traction and stability of the K5, especially in slippery or snowy conditions.
The K5 GT, on the other hand, retains the same 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine as the previous model, which delivers 290 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. This engine is mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, which provides quick and smooth shifts. The K5 GT also features a sport-tuned suspension, a variable exhaust system, and paddle shifters. The K5 GT can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph.
The K5 also offers a hybrid option, which combines a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with an electric motor and a 1.49 kWh lithium-ion battery. The hybrid system produces 227 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque and is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The K5 hybrid has an estimated fuel economy of 39 mpg in the city and 46 mpg on the highway and can travel up to 600 miles on a single tank of gas.